Pie in the Sky 2014 : Community Servings brings fresh produce to low income families

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Land’s Sake and Horizons for Homeless Children to supply our low-income neighbors with healthy eating options. The partnership is a subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that allows 10 families associated with Horizons for Homeless Children to participate in weekly cooking demonstrations and to receive fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm at Land’s Sake.

“We’re so pleased to be partnering with Land’s Sake and Horizons for Homeless Children to offer this innovative subsidized CSA program,” said David Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “We are always looking for unique ways to promote food and nutrition as a critical part of health and healing. This program gives Community Servings another opportunity to work with a vulnerable population and educate them on the connection between food and health.”

Beginning in late July, Land’s Sake has packaged and delivered to Community Servings 10 weekly shares of farm fresh vegetables it has grown and harvested. The town of Weston provided Land’s Sake with enough funding to donate the 10 CSA shares to 10 families in need. Each week, 10 families from Horizons for Homeless Children come to Community Servings for a nutrition education and cooking demonstration. Each family has suffered from homelessness in the past but thankfully, has recently been housed.

“We are grateful to the town of Weston for its generosity in making this program a reality,” said Ed Barker, executive director of Land’s Sake. “Land’s Sake has a 30 year legacy of helping to provide access to healthy, fresh, and local produce to Boston communities, and we are proud to collaborate on this innovative approach to long-term health and nutrition.

The basis of each class, which is held at Community Servings’ facility in Jamaica Plain, is to use vegetables and other ingredients provided in the CSA shares to make a healthy, affordable and nutritious dish. The cooking demonstration combines nutrition education based on the ingredients of the dish with cooking tips to properly prepare the recipe. The participants have the opportunity to sample the dish and are also provided with the recipe, written in both English and Spanish.

“Our partnership with Community Servings and Land’s Sake has helped provide the families we serve with the kinds of skills they need to live stable lives, which is critical to ending the cycle of homelessness,” said Åsa Fanelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Horizons for Homeless Children. “Having access to fresh produce and developing the skills to cook nutritious meals is one important way we can help homeless and formerly homeless children to develop healthy habits for the future.”

The subsidized CSA program will run through October or until the growing season ends.